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Think Piece

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Is Baby Boomer Business Practice Killing Millennials?

I've had my fill of panic-fuelled articles accusing Millennials of "killing" insert-industry-here and laying the collapse of the economy at their rather young feet.

Especially even when an uneducated layperson like myself can take one look at the way the economy's been going and realise it's the Baby Boomers scrabbling for every last cent that got us to this point.

As one of the last of the Baby Boomers, I would like to apologise for the behaviour of my peers. Like Millennials, I was sold the concept of getting an Education as a means of getting Ahead. I came through just on the cusp of this idea failing. I stumbled and fell between the cracks, because the system was no longer rigged in my favour.

It's taken me years to learn that the system is always rigged. The rich get richer and the poor... are forced to exist however they can.

I've watched the price of degrees skyrocket to new heights of unaffordability. I've watched jobs get shipped out to China, to India, to places where I had no hope of work.

And I've watched people from my generational group complain that the young people aren't doing anything.

Excuse us. We were the ones that decided to make degrees both necessary and unaffordable. We were the ones that decided to saddle the newest run of hopeful young minds with debt so crippling that they can no longer afford a great many luxuries.

So if you are looking for clues as to who is killing the wine market, who is killing the golf course, or who is killing the diamond industry... look no further than your own bloody hands. We did this. Us Baby Boomers. We screwed everything up and made certain that the only employment available to those with so much promise is the kind of employment that won't pay for rent and food at the same time.

It was us. The richest generation of all time is killing the next one with abject poverty. Is it no wonder, then, that Millennials are turning to barter, to exchanges of skill, to connections via their iPhones, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or crowdfunding, to get any kind of money? Is it no wonder that, given the options they don't have, they make their own? Is it no wonder, when there are no options and they can see the truth beyond the spoon-fed pap from CNN, that depression and listlessness set in?

Is it no wonder that Millennials find or make ways to get around the Baby Boomer gate-keepers who not only keep all the money, but also keep all the facilities ransomed behind paywalls?

It is a wonder that the people of my generation have forgotten the basic principles of supply and demand. That economies depend on poor people being able to afford stuff in order not to clog and collapse. And now poor people can't afford stuff. They're turning away en masse from the established system and getting angry at the people who have all the shiny toys.

It's not surprising to me at all. But then, I'm a writer. I see the stories of history and I know how this one usually plays out.